The National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN) has made clarifications on its post-graduate courses following media reports on the inability of some students to graduate.
NOUN’s Director of Media and Publicity, Ibrahim Sheme, in a statement on Tuesday in Abuja, said that institution would not be swayed by such malicious stories.
He said also that NOUN’s Management would not be arm-twisted into issuing questionable degrees that were contrary to the institution’s vision and mission statements.
“The attention of NOUN has been drawn to a statement making the rounds pertaining to the inability of some postgraduate students of NOUN to graduate even after they have taken all their courses.
“The statement, titled “Call on Open University of Nigeria to suspend the ‘No 3.0 GP No Graduation Policy’ or Face Students Mass Protest”, was issued by one Tony Christian.
“The statement contains several inaccuracies and falsehood couched in wild generalisations with the aim of whipping up public resentiment.
“It is disheartening that some media organisations have already rushed into publishing the allegation without making any effort to observe the minimum journalistic ethic of hearing from the other party, in this case NOUN.’’
Sheme said that for the purpose of clarity, it is the duty of the Senate of a university to deliberate and make policies on all academic matters which include both admission and graduation requirements.
According to him, NOUN is not an exception as its Senate and University’s academic policies are equally informed by guidelines and pronouncements of the National Universities Commission (NUC).
“In line with NUC’s Benchmark Minimum Academic Standards (BMAS) for Nigerian universities, the minimum pass mark for all postgraduate courses is a “C”, which is a “credit” and carries a grade point of 3 (in clinical/pharmaceutical sciences, it is a “B”).
“In terms of the graduation requirements for most programmes, a student is required to have earned a minimum Cumulative Grade Point Average (CGPA) of 3.00 and a Total Credit Earned (TCE), meaning the summation of all the courses registered and PASSED) of 30 before they may be pronounced “graduated” by the university.
“For professional programmes like the MBA, the TCE is far higher. In addition to CGPA and TCE, postgraduate students are similarly expected to have fulfilled other academic requirements like passing all the courses registered, particularly the core courses.
“For example, a postgraduate student must pass the Good Study Guide (GST707/807), which is an introductory course for an Open and Distance Learning (ODL) student among others.’’
He said that a postgraduate student that failed a core course like Research Project, Research Methodology should not expect to be graduated even though he/she had met the minimum TCE and CGPA for the programme.
Sheme said that the Board of the School of Postgraduate Studies was in the process of re-examining the cases in the above category on a case-by-case basis while its final decision would be deliberated on the floor of the University Senate.
He quoted NOUN’s Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Abdalla Adamu, as urging postgraduate students to be mindful of the graduation requirements for their programmes and work hard to meet the requirements rather than resorting to media propaganda.